In the process of planning the sales management, a journey is made that starts from the review of the characteristics of the company and that leads to the determination of permanent evaluation mechanisms for all the proposals and executions that involve marketing, sales, and service. customer, logistics, and portfolio, within the framework of the principles established in one-to-one marketing and the structuring of the entire organization, based on satisfying the needs and expectations of prioritized customers.
For this reason, all commercial strategists are integrated into the review and implementation of a series of steps or minimum stages that compile the proposals incorporated in the relational marketing plan, in coherence with the guidelines and guidelines outlined in the development plan. corporate.
This sequence involves exhausting the following steps:
1. Company knowledge
2: Knowledge of product features
3: Knowledge of target customer segments
4: Confirmation of the relevant databases
5: Establishment of approach strategies
6: Direct marketing actions
7: Fieldwork planning
8: The Budget Game
9: The work team
10: Permanent evaluation
These are described below:
1. Company knowledge
In compliance with the management objectives that have been assigned around profitability, growth, positioning, and competitiveness that every organization must achieve, one of the first considerations to take into account stems from the nature of the company itself.
The analysis has as its starting point the adequate dimensioning of the organization’s operational capacity, the structuring of the company based on the satisfaction of the expectations of users or consumers, the availability of a sufficiently qualified work team, and always act under the sound criterion of not provoking a market that is not capable of serving.
2. Knowledge of product features
Secondly, all those attributes and benefits that the consumer or user obtains when acquiring or accessing the good or service must be taken into consideration.
In the case corresponding to the intangibility characteristics of the services, a significant effort will be required on the part of the company and its sales force, to make the user achieve visualization of the purchased service, in an event that ultimately shows the client a coherence between the exposed sales arguments and the benefits gained, allowing him to build a mental image that will facilitate the purchase decision.
Another element that should be highlighted corresponds to the importance of guaranteeing, both within the company and towards customers, homogeneous quality standards since it is very frequent that complaints are generated in this regard and the costs are affected. buyback processes.
Here, it plays a very important role to highlight the quality of the human resource and the technological level involved, to the extent that they constitute added values to the internal client-external client interrelation.
Of course, all these exposed elements require a high level of integration between the work team in charge of the productive technical activity and the one in charge of the commercialization activities, to avoid incoherencies and inconsistencies that would be easily perceived by the clients and that lead to the loss of credibility and image of the entity, with the consequent drop in the number of customers and the expected sales volumes.
3. Knowledge of target customer segments
The step to follow must address the task of micro-segmenting the total number of target customers as best as possible, understanding that there are groups of people with well-differentiated characteristics, activities, attitudes, opinions, and interests and that, to the extent that they manage to integrate into homogeneous groups, their knowledge and analysis will be facilitated, to identify the best possible actions that satisfy the expectations of each one, defining micro-marketing tasks and forming the strategic units that will govern what the company does.
In the course of the micro-segmentation, the nature and characteristics of the clients, as natural or legal persons, the validity of the relationship with the company, the purchase volumes, the purchasing habits, and the consumption habits, must be considered. as well as all the information that is required to understand their behavior in general and that facilitates the timely identification of the target groups, with their corresponding quantification.
4. Conformation of the pertinent databases
Based on the criteria established in the micro-segmentation, the next step leads to the determination of the number of people or organizations that make up each of them, building the data that facilitates their subsequent contact.
These primary databases can be collected from existing documentary sources of information within the company or at the level of professional and institutional organizations, publications, directories, etc.
They can also be made up of the information collected directly by the sales force, by personnel in direct contact with customers, or using instruments for capturing records, such as surveys and forms, but always obeying the guidelines and criteria established in the micro-segmentation.
5. Establishment of approach strategies
Customer approach maneuvers are associated with marketing strategies that are stipulated as the most appropriate to the reality found for the market as a whole and specific segment.
These actions imply sufficient clarity regarding the portfolio of products that will be presented for each group of clients, where everything will not necessarily be offered to everyone, and it is possible to make partial presentations of the services offered.
There must also be clarity on both the policies and the price strategies with which each micro-segment will be faced, recognizing that they can be strengthened by establishing differential prices consistent with the purchasing power that each one may have.
On the other hand, a media plan related to the advertising and promotional strategy must be defined, which contributes to the corporate image and identity of each product included in the portfolio, with the support of integrated direct marketing tasks, actions in telemarketing, use of direct mail and the internet.
The other task that the approach implies is associated with the selection of the service provider network or the distribution network and the particularities that guarantee its efficiency in customer service, which must also have specific customer service measures. client, fundamentally understood as a marketing and sales strategy, rather than as organizational culture tasks, committing internal clients to this intention.
It is clear that at this point in the analysis, defining the marketing strategies will facilitate the work of the sales force, not only because of the dissemination of the company and its products but also the level of knowledge reached by the target customers and the market in general but also because each of the tactics defined constitutes a sales argument and alternatives to respond to possible objections to the good or service.
6. Direct marketing actions
From the previous steps, a series of moments focused on fieldwork follow, beginning with telemarketing tasks of verification and consolidation of the databases, to give way to a campaign of expectation, which will be carried out simultaneously with email direct marketing, print management, and use of communication media by the target customer groups, to then return to telemarketing, now focused on scheduling the work of the sales force, making appointments with potential customers.
7. Fieldwork planning
Once the potential clients have been located and the visit agenda has been specified, identification of their physical location is advanced so that based on this activity, a vision of the geographical distribution of the clients can be had, and some criteria of geographical delimitation or zoning that will facilitate adequate coverage of the target market, from the territorial point of view.
Once inside each area, the visit routes or sequences will be established, which allow the potentiation of the fieldwork of the sales force, by setting a series of criteria on which the number of clients to be visited must be determined. , calculated from the weighting of the average visit times plus the average travel times.
Of course, the estimates vary from group to group of clients and according to the sales process, the type of product, and the characteristics of the type of average clients of the segment, but, in any sense, the essential thing is that under these parameters they can build achievement reports and progress indicators for sales management as a whole.
8. The budget game
Simultaneously with the fieldwork tasks, a fairly important task is opened that is related to the adoption of deferred processes, applied to the budgetary load assigned for the period and the entire work team.
Regardless of the mechanics with which the budget has been determined and beyond which people or positions have established it, deferring the budget loads contributes and guarantees to a great extent the fulfillment of the product’s sales goals since they are incorporating critical factors for the good achievement of the management, such as time, (year, month, weeks, days….), geographical area, (zone, router, client,…) work for the team, (manager, assistant, supervisor, vendors,…), which, as is well noted, are factors that are integrated and interrelated.
By identifying the partial achievements of sales management, you also gain in adjusting the results, from period to period, from zone to zone, and even from client to client, since by having control over them, you can adopt the corrective measures that avoid gaps greater than those that could occur due to any eventuality originating in the market, facilitating the fulfillment of the budgetary goals already indicated.
9. The work team
The entire structure presented so far takes up a consideration that has gained space in companies: the professionalization of the sales force.
The company gains nothing if its team of collaborators is not ideally prepared to assume the responsibility of being the executors of the indicated tasks, as well as loses when facing target customers with a sales force that is not trained and motivated to fully comply with the assigned tasks.
Hence, it is necessary to have clarity in the criteria and selection processes of the sales force, as well as in the work of training and development of the same, without neglecting the assessment of socio-economic conditions, growth, and personal development. , as well as professional, offered by the company.
In short, a sales force must be formed that is up to the customers.
10. Permanent evaluation
The final requirement in sales management planning concerns the requirement to make permanent evaluations, both input, process, and output, to identify the goals achieved and compare these results with the budgeted goals.
This evaluation will also have to point out those critical components that have affected some unfavorable results for the organization, anticipating the corrective measures that might take place, always under criteria that contribute to carrying out a process of continuous improvement.
From here derives a series of very important tasks, which help feedback on the completed processes and guarantee the conquest of a satisfied customer with the products they have requested and that the company has offered, giving way to the restart of a new cycle. , which will far exceed the budget goals and will provide contributions so that the pertinent managerial management is gradually improved, always depending on the client.